James O'Brien explains how the A-level algorithm debacle came to happen

17 August 2020, 13:04 | Updated: 17 August 2020, 13:07

By Adrian Sherling

James O'Brien explains how the A-level debacle came to happen, describing it as "a callous lack of care".

Ministers are facing pressure from senior Conservatives to abandon this year's A-level moderation system.

Around 40% of A-Level results were downgraded by an algorithm and it's unclear how the appeals process will work.

That algorithm that seemed to mark down pupils in big schools and classes, which generally meant state schools were downgraded, while many private schools marks were less affected.

Speaking on his LBC show, James gave the only explanation that seems valid - no one asked if the algorithm worked properly. He said: "This is gross.

"I don't see how this could have happened if anybody in this government had at any time asked for an explanation of how the algorithm would work.

James O'Brien explained how the algorithm fiasco happened
James O'Brien explained how the algorithm fiasco happened. Picture: LBC / PA

"When you're working in a dysfunctional organisation, the question is 'has it been done?', you say yes and it gets passed back up the line.

"No one ever says 'has it been done well?'

"Nobody even asked on behalf of your children, 'is it any good?' Nobody.

"That's the bit I can't get my head around, that level of callous lack of care."

Watch his monologue at the top of the page.

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